Last post, I talked about a buoy that produces energy with the air that enters it. This time, I am also going to talk about a buoy, but that has a totally different approach of obtaining energy from the waves.
Ocean Power Technologies is a US based company that has developed their so called Power Buoy. The mechanism of this buoy is the next: given that with the waves, the water rises and falls constantly, the device moves up and down freely. This up and down movement is transformed into mechanical work by moving a hydraulic piston. The piston then, transforms mechanical work into electric energy.
In the picture that is attached, the yellow part would be the one that moves freely, while the black part is anchored to the bottom of the sea. It is inside the black cylinder that the hydraulic pistons move generating electric energy.
Currently, the product that they are most producing is the PB150 that generates 150kW, although their R&D department is developing the new PB500, that would generate around 500kW per installed unit. None the less, this project isn’t due to be finished before 2013.
You might be thinking, is it healthy for fish and sea plants? The producers claim that not only it isn’t bad, but that the buoys serve as an artificial reef and attract fish and other marine life. They are designed to be deployed in water depths between 30 and 50 meters.
Here you can find a couple of videos that can help you understand the working system of the device:
Information has mostly been found in the company website.